The UP cabinet expansion comes just months ahead of the assembly UP elections scheduled early next year (AP)

Ahead of UP polls, state cabinet expansion likely this evening: Report

Ahead of what is probably the biggest election before 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government is likely to expand the state cabinet this evening at Raj Bhavan, news agency ANI reported.

According to reports, six to seven new faces are likely to be inducted in the cabinet.  The name of Brahmin leader Jitin Prasada, who switched over to the BJP from the Congress, is being considered.

Sanjay Nishad, whose NISHAD (Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal) party will contest the elections with the BJP, could also be included.

A swearing-in ceremony has been scheduled at the Gandhi auditorium in Raj Bhavan at 5:30 pm.

This is the fourth BJP-ruled state where a major rejig is happening after Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttarakhand.

The crucial UP assembly elections are seen as the test for both Centre and state’s management of the deadly Covid pandemic, especially the second wave.

While the BJP leaders claim, UP has managed the pandemic effectively, the opposition has slammed the state and Central government for letting hundreds of people die under their watch.

The top BJP leadership maintained that the upcoming state elections will be fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Analysts say the only real likely contender to challenge the BJP this polls will be Samajwadi Party. The SP, the Rashtriya Lok Dal and some smaller parties will contest the polls together, and an announcement in this regard would be made soon, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had said earlier.

Akhilesh Yadav has already declared that his party will have no tie-up with bigger parties like the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and would rather prefer smaller regional parties as partners in the crucial election.

Meanwhile, the BJP and the Nishad Party will contest the upcoming assembly polls together in Uttar Pradesh and will work towards forming the next government in the state.

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